Advanced Discipleship Training: God is Our Father

(11th article in the Discipleship Series)


Instructional:

In this portion of the Discipleship Series, we’ll use the Advanced Discipleship Training Regimen.  The regimen is broken into 4 parts: Prayer, Study, Meditate and Read Bible.


In each session, for the next 6 sessions:

1.  I’ll focus on a single portion of the Lord’s Prayer.
2.  I’ll teach that portion of the prayer.
3.  I’ll provide scripture references and Fruit of the Spirit Cards that you can meditate on throughout the week.
4.  I’ll ask you to read the Chronological Bible or counterpart in the evening for 15 minutes.

Here is a breakdown of the Lord’s Prayer and the portion we will study in this session.

Click on graphic to enlarge
Let's get started.

PRAYER:  Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

STUDY:  In this study I’ll address 2 components of this portion of the prayer:

1.  What is means for God to be our Father.
2.  How to hallow God’s name.

God as Our Father

Calling God our Father means that we are a BORN OF GOD (John 1:12-13).  This is not the case for those born under the headship of the first man Adam.

Adam was created in the SIMILITUDE of God (James 3:9).  He was not born as a son!

He was given dominion over God’s creation (Genesis 1:26).  He was created CONDITIONALLY IMMORTAL.  Yes, he would live forever IF he did not eat of the tree of good and evil in the garden.  But if he did, he would die— he would lose his immortality (Genesis 2:16-17).  Fallen man is mortal (Job 4:17).  He needs salvation (man needs his sins forgiven).  He needs eternal life.

But how does man obtain eternal life?  That’s the story of the Bible:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE.John 3:16
also...
For the wages of sin is death; but THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:23
God provides forgiveness of sin and eternal life through His SON.
And this is the testimony: God has given us ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is IN HIS SON.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.1 John 5:11-12
also...
But as many as received him (the son), to them He gave the right to become CHILDREN OF GOD, to those who believe in His name: WHO WERE BORN, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD.John 1:12-13
Would you be surprised to learn that Satan, the great counterfeiter, would also like to give eternal life?  In my opinion, eternal life is probably what’s behind the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:15-18).  Will Satan divulge to mankind the genetics of living forever?

For now the entrance to the Tree of Life has been blocked by God (Genesis 3:22-24).  However with man’s advances in Transhumanism, Satan could reopen the door.  Immortality could be offered to man with his SIN NATURE still attached.

To see the role genetics plays in passing sin from generation to generation read my article, Intrinsic Evil, Genetics and the New World Order.

Also read this article on the Top Six Ways Technology Will Make You Immortal.

Note:  The idea that man’s soul is immortal and cannot die comes from Plato— not the Bible.  Therefore the question can be asked, “If a man dies without receiving Christ, will his immortal soul burn in hell forever?”  I believe the answer is both yes and no.

Yes, if the Mark of the Beast offers eternal life through genetics.  In this case, those receiving the mark will burn in the lake of fire forever because they will not be able to die.  Their sin nature will be what holds them there since Satan cannot forgive sin.

No, for those whose soul dies mortal.  Upon death they will enter a place of waiting (Hell or Tartarus 2 Peter 2:4).  At the great white throne judgement (Revelation 20:11) they will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15) and cease to exist.

I want my readers to know that my view is not the conventional evangelical view.  However I do believe the Bible supports it.  For those of you who would like to do more research I suggest these 2 sources:


But then you, as a child of God don’t have to be concerned about the lake of fire, God is your Father.  In this you have great benefits, your identity is in Him.  Our relationship is so intimate with Him we cry, Abba Father— Daddy!
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ”ABBA, FATHER!”Galatians 4:6
Who we are in Him:

•  You are His own special possession (1 Peter 2:9, Deuteronomy 14:2).

•  You are chosen, handpicked by the God who created the universe (1 Peter 2:9, Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:3-4).

•  You are treasured (Deuteronomy 7:6 14:2, 26:18).

•  You are irreplaceable (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

•  You are loved beyond compare (1 John 4:19, 4:10, 3:16, Romans 5:8, 8:35-39).

•  You are worth dying for (1 John 3:16, Romans 5:7-9).

•  You are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1, 33-39).

•  You are His child (1 John 3:1, Galatians 3:26).

•  You are secured for all eternity (2 Corinthians 1:22, John 10:28-29).

•  You are set free (Romans 6:18, Galatians 5:1).

•  You are precious to Him (Isaiah 43:4).

•  You are set apart (John 15:16, 19, I Peter 2:9).

As God’s children we are His HEIRS (Galatians 4:7)— God has given us His KINGDOM (Luke 12:32).

In this, we must be about our Fathers business.  Jesus was about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49).

How to Hallow God’s Name

When we are about our Father's business we HALLOW His name.

What is our Father’s DAILY business?

1.  Obeying the Father.
2.  Bearing fruit.
3.  Proclaiming the excellencies of God.

Obeying the Father

Fathers love their children.  Fathers know the best for their children— at least our heavenly Father does.  We show love to our Father and hallow His name when we obey His commandments (John 14:15).  What are some of the things our Father asks of us?

1.  He asks us to separate ourselves from the world.
“Come out from them and be separate”, says the Lord.  “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.  And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters”, says the Lord Almighty.2 Corinthians 6:17-18
This is no different than an earthly father asking his children to stay away from drugs or anything else that would hurt them.

2.  He wants us to be aware of certain pitfalls.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.1 John 2:15-16
There are 3 pitfalls God wants us to be aware of:

•  The Lust of the Flesh

We have to be careful about the pull of sex in our lives.  The world pulls us away from God in several ways.  Overtly through advertising that speaks to our flesh.  Covertly through appealing doctrines that tickle our ears.  Both lead to spiritual and physical fornication.

The Bible refers to these “philosophies” as the Doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14).  I write about them in my Deceptive Doctrine Series.  All of these are ideas of “compromise”— the proverbial frog being slowly cooked in hot water.

Our Father, who loves us, doesn’t want us to compromise physically or spiritually.  He doesn’t want us to experience the hurt that comes from being a CARNAL CHRISTIAN.

When we heed His words, we hallow His name.

•  The Lust of the Eyes

Where do you find your identity?  Is it in the clothes you wear or the car you drive?  Are you more focussed on external things than you are internal?  Are there things you “just have to have” in order to be happy?

The “lust of the eyes” refers to a man or woman who look for happiness in this world rather than in God’s Kingdom.

Which EYES do you use when you get up in the morning— physical or spiritual?  Is your focus on your Father’s business or on the things of this world? 

A Christian’s IDENTITY is in Christ.  Committed Christians have died with Christ so that they can LIVE with Him (Galatians 2:20).  If you have allowed your life to get caught up in this world, repent and refocus on Christ.

When you do, you hallow His name.

•  The Pride of Life

Is your identity tied up in your accomplishments?  Are you a doctor, or a senator?  Do you hold a position of leadership at work?  All of these things are fine, but what defines you?  Is it who you are on EARTH, or who you are in HEAVEN (Ephesians 2:6-7)?

God doesn’t want us to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3).  He doesn’t want us to become prideful about our accomplishments.  He wants us to walk in a Spirit of meekness (Matthew 5:5).  He wants us to have a servants heart.  God isn’t asking you to despise your accomplishments, He asking you to use them for the advancement of His Kingdom.

When we keep our personal accomplishments in perspective, we hallow His name.

3.  God wants us to be aware that He will discipline us if we disobey Him.
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: my son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.Hebrews 12:5-6
A Father disciplines those that He loves.

If trials appear in our lives, it may be that God is disciplining us.  Discipline is different than punishment.  God is wisely allowing things in our lives that will draw us closer to Him.  Punishment is more about revenge.  Remember, God is our Father.  He loves us.  He is looking for constructive results.  Humble yourself before Him and discover the mercies and faithfulness of God (Lamentations 3:22-24).

Bearing Fruit
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and BEAR FRUIT, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.John 15:16-17
Does bearing fruit mean that you need to develop a successful external ministry?  That you have a Christian blog or YouTube ministry?  That you speak in churches or that you have a clothing ministry to Mexico?

No, dear reader.  Bearing fruit means that you exude the fruit of God’s Spirit in your personal life (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do you have a servant’s heart (Meekness)?  Are you gentle with people— kind and merciful (Gentleness)?  Are you emotionally balanced?  Are you willing to hold your tongue when people strike out at you (Longsuffering)?  When things look down, do you have the kind of faith that allows you to trust God through it (Faith)?  Have you developed a sense of God’s peace in your life (Peace)?  Is there joy knowing WHO your Father is (Joy)?  This is what pleases God.

Learn more about the fruit of the Spirit by reading the articles in this series:
  
But how do you develop these qualities in your life?  How do you walk in the Spirit?

Since God is your Father, you have His Spirit in you (1 Corinthians 2:12).  He resides in you and you reside with Him in heavenly places (Ephesian 2:6).

1.  Purpose every day to remain in the Kingdom.

When you get up in the morning, before your feet hit the floor, ask God for a SERVANT’S HEART (Meekness).

Just say, “Father, I want to hallow your name today.  I can do that if I bear your fruit in my life.  It starts with a servant’s heart.  Help me to serve people today.”

2.  Purpose to walk in all 9 points of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  Use Fruit of the Spirit cards to remind you of each fruit and corresponding scripture reference.  You can find them here (link).


3.  Confess your sins on the spot.

If and when you leave the Spirit of God’s Kingdom by NOT walking in one of the fruits, just RETURN to the Kingdom Spirit by confessing your sin.  The Father will instantly cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  Because of your confession, God doesn’t see your ugly sin anymore, He sees the atoning life of Christ in you.  So forgive yourself.  Move on.  Purpose to continue in the Kingdom.  For more on this see my article, How To Deal With Sin.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
Repeat these 3 actions throughout the day— you will bear fruit.

Proclaim the Excellencies of God
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, THAT YOU MAY PROCLAIM THE PRAISES OF HIM who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.1 Peter 2:9
Praising God from the bottom of our hearts will not be a problem if you understand the implications of Christ’s death on the cross.

John Piper gives us Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die.  I’ve listed the reasons below.  Download the book for free.  He provides the scripture references with a short explanation for each.

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die (click here for the free book)

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die (click here for audio book)

1.  To Absorb the Wrath of God
2.  To Please His Heavenly Father
3.  To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected
4.  To Achieve His Own Resurrection from the Dead
5.  To Show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners
6.  To Show His Own Love for Us
7.  To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us
8.  To Become a Ransom for Many
9.  For the Forgiveness of Our Sins
10.  To Provide the Basis for Our Justification
11.  To Complete the Obedience That Becomes Our Righteousness
12.  To Take Away Our Condemnation
13.  To Abolish Circumcision and All Rituals as the Basis of Salvation
14.  To Bring Us to Faith and Keep Us Faithful
15.  To Make Us Holy, Blameless, and Perfect
16.  To Give Us a Clear Conscience
17.  To Obtain for Us All Things That Are Good for Us
18.  To Heal Us from Moral and Physical Sickness
19.  To Give Eternal Life to All Who Believe on Him
20,  To Deliver Us from the Present Evil Age
21.  To Reconcile Us to God
22.  To Bring Us to God
23.  So That We Might Belong to Him
24.  To Give Us Confident Access to the Holiest Place
25.  To Become for Us the Place Where We Meet God
26.  To Bring the Old Testament Priesthood to an End and Become the Eternal High Priest
27.  To Become a Sympathetic and Helpful Priest
28.  To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry
29.  To Free Us from the Slavery of Sin
30.  That We Might Die to Sin and Live to Righteousness
31.  So That We Would Die to the Law and Bear Fruit for God
32.  To Enable Us to Live for Christ and Not Ourselves
33.  To Make His Cross the Ground of All Our Boasting
34.  To Enable Us to Live by Faith in Him
35.  To Give Marriage Its Deepest Meaning
36.  To Create a People Passionate for Good Works
37.  To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love
38.  To Create a Band of Crucified Followers
39.  To Free Us from Bondage to the Fear of Death
40.  So That We Would Be with Him Immediately After Death
41.  To Secure Our Resurrection from the Dead
42.  To Disarm the Rulers and Authorities
43.  To Unleash the Power of God in the Gospel
44.  To Destroy the Hostility Between Races
45.  To Ransom People from Every Tribe and Language and People and Nation
46.  To Gather All His Sheep from Around the World
47.  To Rescue Us from Final Judgment
48.  To Gain His Joy and Ours
49.  So That He Would Be Crowned with Glory and Honor
50.  To Show That the Worst Evil Is Meant by God for Good

Suggestion: Use Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die in your daily study.  Study 1 reason per day.  Read the commentary and study the scripture provided by John Piper.

Take a moment and meditate on the significance of the Cross— then proclaim the excellencies of His name!

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross



MEDITATE:  Create scripture reference cards using card stock, glue stick and baseball card protector.



Use these cards throughout the day to remind you that God is your Father and that you desire to Hallow His name.

God is our Father
But as many as received him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:12-13
also...
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ”Abba, Father!”Galatians 4:6
Hallow His Name
If you love Me, keep My commandments.John 14:15
also...
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.1 John 2:15-16
READ BIBLE:  Take 15 minutes to read your Bible each evening.  You’ll be amazed at how it reprograms your thinking.  You’ll feel recharged and hopeful.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, so I’ve prepared a READING SCHEDULE you can use for reading the Bible chronologicallyClick here.  Reading the Bible chronologically helps you understand the Bible better because it creates a timeline of events.

Or you can read the Bible in other formats.  BibleGateway has several reading plans available.  Click here.

Conclusion

The Advanced Discipleship Training Regimen will help you remain in the Kingdom mentally.  Get up each day in the Spirit of meekness— ask God for a servant’s heart.  Say the Lord’s prayer and spent 30 minutes in study.  As you go off to work take your scripture memorization cards with you.  Also refer to the Fruit of the Spirit cards throughout the day.  When you get home at night read your Bible for 15 minutes.


Next session I’ll discuss the next portion of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”  We’ll be talking about the Substitutionary Life of Christ, what it is and how you can live it.